Regional/Home Team Advantage in Bowls; NJ Sports Betting Would Help Vegas; Bowl Moves

Home Cookin’

By VI News

Editor’s Note: Steve Makinen and hist StatFox crew have offered up their expert insight this bowl season with their College Football Bowl Blast. Below is a snapshot of the 81-page Tip Sheet that provides
instant analysis on all 35 bowl games. If you’re serious about making money this bowl season, then be sure to invest in this guide. Click here!


Over the course of the last 20 seasons, 19 bowl games have been played at one of the teams’ home field. The host teams are 11-8 straight up and 11-7 against the spread in those games.

Preparing for several weeks to play a game at your home field is certainly advantageous. The advantage that isn’t always as glaring, and therefore often overlooked, is a regional advantage. There are many
examples of teams playing bowl games in their home state, perhaps less than three hours from their campus. The chances for that team to feel as if they are the home team by rallying their fans to the cause
are much greater than the opponent, who, along with its fans, has to endure more rigorous travel to get to a bowl game. The examples of the latter are many fold.

From last year alone, Florida beat Ohio State at the Gator Bowl, Texas A&M beat Northwestern at the Texas Bowl, Rutgers turned back Iowa State at the Pinstripe Bowl, Baylor came up big over Washington at San Antonio in the Alamo Bowl, NC State won the Belk Bowl in Charlotte against Louisville, Louisiana-Lafayette was a winner at the Superdome in New Orleans over San Diego State, Houston beat Penn State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and Florida State beat Notre Dame in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Losing teams in would be regional advantage games were California (Holiday Bowl), and UCLA (Fight Hunger). If you’re keeping score, that was 8-2 against the spread. That is a record worth noting.

You will find games like this on every year’s bowl card, as organizers do this to increase attendance figures and enhance the experience for the travelers. The trouble for oddsmakers is that this home field
edge is impossible to quantify, and as a result, most bowl games not at a specific home field are treated as neutral games. Therefore, this is an easy spot for bettors to pick up at least a couple points of
value on a line.

Here’s a look at the games that would qualify as regional advantage games on the 2012-13 bowl board:

Teams listed first have the Regional Edge

Friday, Dec. 21

Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl at Tropicana Field from St. Petersburg, FL
Central Florida vs. Ball State

Saturday, Dec. 22

New Orleans Bowl at Superdome from New Orleans, LA
Louisiana-Lafayette vs. East Carolina

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Little Caesar’s Bowl at Ford Field from Detroit, MI
Central Michigan vs. Western Kentucky

Thursday, Dec. 27

Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium from Charlotte, NC
Duke vs. Cincinnati

Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium from San Diego, CA
UCLA vs. Baylor

Friday, Dec. 28

Independence Bowl at Independence Stadium from Shreveport, LA
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Ohio

Friday, Dec. 28

Meineke Car Care Bowl at Reliant Stadium from Houston, Texas
Texas Tech vs. Minnesota

Saturday, Dec. 29

Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G Carter Stadium from Fort Worth, TX
Rice vs. Air Force

Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium from Bronx, NY
Syracuse vs. West Virginia

Alamo Bowl at Alamodome from San Antonio, TX
Texas vs. Oregon State

Monday, Dec. 31

Music City Bowl at LP Field from Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt vs. NC State

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Rose Bowl at Rose Bowl Stadium from Pasadena, CA
Stanford vs. Wisconsin

New Jersey sports betting would help Vegas

by Micah Roberts

Last Friday U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp ruled that the joint effort of the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA could go forward with their suit against New Jersey to stop legalized sports betting in New

The judge stated that the leagues had done enough studies to determine there was enough negative perception among public attitudes toward game-fixing and sports gambling to allow future litigation. The
leagues were grilled about studies and, apparently, that portion of testimony regarding quality studies was retracted from public knowledge.

The bottom line is this is just another delay. The sports leagues sounded like buffoons talking about their lack of knowledge about betting on their sports. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell couldn’t recall the  last time a game has been fixed and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig didn’t know if fans bet on baseball.

One of the big points, beyond citing what a help regulated sports wagering is for protecting the integrity of all wagering on their sports events, was that fantasy sports – which they support on their sites
– wasn’t a bet upon event. What?

Here in Las Vegas, we’re hoping for legalized sports gambling in New Jersey. You could say, “Why do you want the competition?”

Anything positive that happens in New Jersey is good for Las Vegas. The growth of the sports betting market makes it very good for Nevada business. Because the state is regulated and there are plenty of
employees around the state following the rules, there will be plenty of job offers for those who are currently employed in the state.

That means more job openings at the Nevada sports books.

The current companies operating within the state will have the first crack at operating books in New Jersey, if it becomes legal, which brings more financial windfall into the state operated companies that
would be setting up business there.

But the bigger picture is the effect of New Jersey being allowed to operate a book.

Between taxed revenue coming in to their state, and other states now following precedent, there will be more operations following. The only way they can get their foot on the ground is by having a real
bookmaker from a licensed book in Nevada get them going.

No one is going to hire an off-shore bookmaker – although many are very accomplished, they are all going to have to come from Nevada. The trickle-down effect will be a boom for Nevadans to make director and vice-president salaries. Right now, there are only so many positions in the state that can offer that.

Long term, Nevada companies such as MGM Resorts, Station Casinos, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, Wynn Resorts and South Point will all be ahead of the game when, and if, the outdated Wire Act
restricting interstate wagering is repealed. These companies already have the on-line set-up to turn the switch on to “go-time” when it becomes a reality.

All the money wagered within those companies across state lines will stay in Nevada, and those numbers would mean billions to the state economy.

So just to get the ball rolling for future legislation in other states, New Jersey is a big deal to Nevada.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at

Early Bowl Moves

By VI News 

I am convinced that players and coaches know the point-spreads in their bowl games. I am NOT convinced however that they follow line moves like professional bettors too. As they say, things like this are
best left for the pro’s. I also inferred earlier that it is impossible to quantify the distractions a team faces in its bowl preparations. Perhaps line movements are the best and only way to even think about
doing it. Therefore, while I wouldn’t actually consider a line moving a lot in a bowl game a motivating factor for a team, the move itself should stand as a red flag for you when wondering if some unusual
situation might be “distracting” a team.

In general, oddsmakers are sharp enough at this point in the season to set lines that stay steady over the month-long period of bowl games. In fact, only 19 of about 525 bowl games over the last 20 years
have seen line moves of greater than 4-points from their opening number. That is just one of every 33 games on average, so if we’re lucky, we will see one or two this year.

I use the word “lucky” because the experts are basically paving the road to bowl winnings by telling you which team to bet on. As I just mentioned, 19 games over the last 20 bowl seasons have seen line
movements of more than 4-points. Here is the trend:

In bowl games between 1992-2012 that had closing lines more than four points off of their opening line, the team that the line moved towards is 12-6-1 ATS.

In most cases, line moves of this big are typically caused by some distracting factor, such as a coaching change, suspension, or injury, and rarely due to a “miss” by oddsmakers. In short, with a 66.7% ATS
success rate, let the experts interpret the impact that the distraction.

It is generally accepted, most early betting action during the regular season is done by sharps, either finding a number they believe is soft or working to influence situations they can later take advantage
of. With essentially five weeks from the initial numbers are released until a BCS champion is crowned, the majority of the most knowledgeable sports bettors lets the market settle before making
determinations. Here is our first look at how the sports betting marketplace has evolved.
(221) BAYLOR vs. (222) UCLA: UCLA opened as a two-point favorite at many wagering outlets and have come back to a Pick versus Baylor. Why the switch? It has to be the Bears uncovered a potent running game in the last part of the season, which averaged 298 YPG in Baylor’s last five contests (4-1 and 5-0 ATS). This helped keep one the worst defensive units in the country off the field by chewing up more clock and kept them fresher.

(237) TCU vs. (238) MICHIGAN STATE: The college football bettors have spoken and they are thinking “DEE-FENCE” for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Both these squads have gone through their offensive issues in various forms and relied on their defenses to at least keep them competitive, if not as successful as they would have preferred. The total of 43 has fallen like the temperature on an Arizona winter evening to 41 or lower. Michigan State is 9-2-1 UNDER in 2012.

(241) GEORGIA TECH vs. (242) USC: This bowl battle has two disappointed participants who thought they would be at warmer locales. Both Georgia Tech’s and USC’s defense did not play close to expectations and the offenses either fumbled too frequently or threw the pigskin to the wrong colored jersey. Those betting on football seem to believe the turnovers will deter, not enhance the scoring and sent the total from 66 to 64. These squads are a combined 15-0 OVER when both score and allow 28 or more points since last year.

(251) MICHIGAN vs. (252) SOUTH CAROLINA: Whether it’s the power of the SEC or the weakness of the Big Ten, South Carolina bolted from -3.5 to -5 over Michigan. The Gamecocks are equipped defensively to hold the Wolverines in check. Statistically speaking, the two teams are similar if their leagues were not. Each squad really fell off offensively on the road and Michigan has to find ways to complete passes, since they are 0-7 ATS away when they gain 150 to 200 passing yards.

(253) NEBRASKA vs. (254) GEORGIA: In the conflict of conference championship losers, points are presumed to reign. The total in this Big Ten/SEC confrontation has seen the total spike like a credit card bill this time of year from 57-60.5. Both offenses score in the mid- 30’s and have every reason to dig into the bag of gadgets from the coaching perspective, to help their teams overcome their previous setbacks and enjoy the bowl experience. If the weather is good, it should be a shootout in Orlando.

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